Extremely miniaturized, very low power, navigation-grade attitude control systems are an enabling technology for a number of civilian and defense systems, including miniature, autonomous sensors, navigation systems for satellites and unmanned air vehicles (UAV), ground and underwater robotic systems, and defense and law-enforcement systems for widely dispersed surveillance and precision targets. Space systems employing an attitude control system should include the control and processing of appropriate electronics to provide the most direct method for sensing inertial angular velocity. Another component that is typically required is a magnetometer that provides a measurement of the direction and magnitude of the local geomagnetic field. Such measurement can be used for spacecraft attitude determination and as the reference for attitude control using magnetic torqueing. Khalifa University develops an innovative, affordable, miniature, low-power, navigation-grade integrated gyroscope and magnetometer for the attitude control system that applies micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to achieve the performance, size, power, sensitivity, and cost objectives of space and other commercial applications.
The development of this project is well aligned with the UAE Space Agency’s ST&I Component as: (Level 1) 8. Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems/(Level 2) 8.3 In-situ Instruments and Sensors/(Level 3) 8.3.3 In-situ (Other) – Inertial Measurement Unit under the Initiative of 4.b.2. Communication, Navigation, and Orbital Debris Tracking and Characterization.